About this Show

Early Start

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
02:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Syria 31, Israel 29, U.s. 20, Obama 15, Us 15, United States 10, Cnn 10, Benjamin Netanyahu 10, Cyprus 9, England 9, Jerusalem 7, Aleppo 7, North Korea 6, Kentucky 6, Angie 6, Mark Sanford 6, Florida 6, Sanford 5, Orlando 5, South Carolina 5,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    Early Start    News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin.  
   The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.  

    March 20, 2013
    2:00 - 4:00am PDT  

2:00am
began to show up. pretty much everywhere. >> roaches started crawling up on our clothes. crawling out the ceiling. everything. >> all right, we're already at the trip where i would pull the emergency brake, jump off the bus and i would call wolf blitzer to pick me up. trust me, he's used to getting sketchy phone calls from atlantic city. unfortunately, things only got worse. >> we thought it was one. it turned out to be a whole houseful of roaches. >> i was in the front. i saw people panicking and after a while the panic got to the back. we looked around and saw roaches crawling everywhere. >> all right. i'm about to throw up. you have no idea. roaches on a bus? kardashians in an elevator, my list of fears is rather lengthy. i actually attempted to conquer my fear of roaches as you can see in this old file footage. how i miss the days when my hair was more pepper than salt. unfortunately the roaches and i could not reach an agreement. >> are you willing to put your hand inside the container? >> um -- yeah -- no. i don't think so. >> yeah. didn't go well.
2:01am
i'm a mess when it comes to creepy crawly things. do you know anyone who's afraid of a millipede? you do now. >> i'll touch it i won't lift it up, though. >> just stroke it. >> i don't like being afraid of anything. >> give it a hold. >> that's it. i'm done. >> i'm sorry. they're gross. keep them away from me. by the way, we don't have close-ups of the roaches from atlantic city but i'm guessing they look something like this, give or take a few poker chips. i know this is a bad idea, but let's hear a bit more about what happened on that roach bus. >> the man had roaches on his coat. the lady had a roach on her hat. it was just terrible. >> people were in the aisles brushing roaches off of them. >> i can't. i mean, really. we should point out greyhound says the driver pulled over and radioed for assistance. a new bus was dispatched to pick up the passengers who were given refunds. i think it's safe to say gray mound made the right move there. we all know how these situations
2:02am
tend to end up. >> enough is enough! i have had it with these [ bleep ] snakes on this [ bleep ] plane! >> that's a classic. consider yourself warned, roaches. you got off easy. next time it could be worse than getting squashed on the president obama's first visit to israel since taking office. we're live as he begins this historic trip. and that trip taking on a new urgency as evidence builds this morning that syria us agovernment is using chem. >> caller: weapons on its own people. redemption for mark sanford. the controversial former governor of south carolina one step closer to winning a seat in the house. and inspiring words from the young girl shot in the head by the taliban as she returns to school for the first time. good morning, everyone. welcome to "early start."
2:03am
i'm poppy harlow in for john berman. >> nice to have you. it is the first day of spring and it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. we begin with president obama. about to touchdown in tel aviv for start of a middle east visit. his plane lands in less than 90 minutes and his mission is taking on a new urgency at this hour. because there is mounting evidence syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people near the city of oleppo. listen to this. >> i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used. we need that final verification. we need to step up in the world community to prevent a humanitarian disaster. >> we're tapping into the global resources of cnn this morning to bring you the most complete coverage of the developing story. we have a reporter in jerusalem. ivan watson is in jordan and
2:04am
chris lawrence is live at the pentagon. sarah, how did the developments in syria affect the president's agenda on this trip? >> reporter: well, not much. this has been a major concern already for both the obama administration and netanyahu's administration. we do know according to a senior israeli official that i spoke with on condition of anonymity that this issue of the united states being asked to strike syria if certain things such as some of their weapons, missiles in particular are heading over the border to hezbollah, an organization in lebanon that the united states and israel both consider a terrorist organization. that is going to be something that is going to be on the agenda in the discussions. but this chemical weapon issue is one that they were going to be talking about beforehand. they also have talked about the difficulties if you speak with folks that know about how to get rid of some of the weapons, the difficulties of getting rid of chemical weapons, you cannot just do an air strike.
2:05am
you have to go in on the ground to pull those out. a very big concern. we've been on the border of the israel-syria border and been able to hear some of the fighting inside of syria. some of that fighting spilled over into israel. so definitely a very high concern, something that will be talked about between the president and prime minister netanyahu. >> probably just moves up on the agenda. do we expect president obama to move forward in the movement in the israeli-palestinian peace process as well? >> reporter: that is the issue that is causing controversy. a lot of people are not expecting. they have low expectations when it comes to whether or not a peace process plan will be put in place. but we are now hearing that there is possibly going to be some movement because we're hearing that kerry is coming back here on saturday to sit with netanyahu to see how they can push forward this peace process between israel and the palestinians. the palestinians looking at this saying, look, we don't think anything is going to move forward. they really hope that something will happen.
2:06am
but there hasn't been any high expectations here. >> sarah sidener, thank you. and now syria. the assad regime and rebel forces are accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media reported that rebel forces launched a chemical attack killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100 people. rebels deny that charge vehemently and accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. our senior international reporter is in amman, jordan, this morning. i know there are a lot of questions to substantiating the claims. what do we know so far? >> reporter: most of the information is coming from syrian state tv. and that's claiming that at least 25 people were killed in some kind of an attack in a village. scores of people wounded. and then syrian state tv playing
2:07am
interviews with some of the alleged victims who were saying that they smelled chlorine and almost all aping the same message, is this the freedom that the free syrian army rebels want? so some of those statements do come out to be a little suspect. neither side has been entirely truthful when it comes to the information and media war over syria. now very quickly, the rebels came out and accused the government, in fact, of carrying out a chemical weapons attack there. now some chemical weapons experts have already gone on record saying they're seeing very little evidence to prove that any weapons of mass destruction, any nerve toxins were used in this deadly incident. poppy? >> i know when you talk about the government being accused, assad forces of using chemical weapons, it's been discussed before not long ago around homes. but there hasn't been substantiated evidence. it brings up the question of the
2:08am
assad regime blaming rebels for this creating a front so they can do the same. >> reporter: you know, we really don't know in this fog of war. yes, the rebels have accused the syrian regime of carrying out chemical weapons attacks in the past. again, we haven't gotten huge evidence of this. why this is such a big hot potato, the obama administration said that use of chemical weapons is a red line and it would prompt a response from the u.s. government. the rebels and the syrian opposition find this kind of ridiculous because there has been no response from the u.s. government when the syrian government has fired scud missiles at its own cities. used jets to bomb villages and towns in cities and artillery as well. so there have been so many atrocities in the past. many syrians asking why is this a red line but the killing of some 70,000 people over the past two years doesn't really rank up there?
2:09am
>> and skepticism on that, of course, i'm sure that the president and his team are discussing it on air force one overnight. i wonder if we'll hear a statement from him this morning. thank you. it is 6 minutes past the hour. we mentioned the white house is keeping a close eye on the situation in syria. chief of staff dennis mcdonagh told jake tapper that the president takes the reports "very seriously." >> we are going to be very clear to the syrian regime as we have been throughout and to all the syrian supporters throughout the world and then obviously to our partners in the region. if this is substantiated, it does suggest as the president just said that this is a game changer and we'll act accordingly. >> so does that mean the united states would take some kind of military action? chris lawrence is live at the pentagon this morning. good morning, chris. and that's really the big question. what will the response be from the united states? >> reporter: that's right. i mean that would be the red line that the president has already established.
2:10am
i can tell you from u.s. military officials they are still urging everyone to proceed very slowly. in fact, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff just this week said this situation wasn't very clear six months ago. it is less clear today. now general martin dempsy is one of those who advocated arming the syrian rebels last year during discussions with the white house. but he still feels although there is some opportunities there to do that, he feels that would best be done through allies. he feels that some of the u.s. allies have a better idea of what is going on there on the ground. u.s. officials are telling us that they have seen some of the movement of those chemical weapons in the past few weeks away from the fighting and that is making it a little bit more difficult to track where they are. >> chris lawrence live at the pentagon, thank you. a developing story this hour
2:11am
out of seoul. south korean officials investigating a suspected cyber attack that left computer networks at several banks and media outlets paralyzed. three major broadcasters and two banks reportedly been impacted by this. it's not yet clear if those cyber attacks originated in north korea or somewhere else. but we'll have more on this developing story throughout the morning. and new this morning, redemption for mark sanford, the former south carolina governor finishing first last night in a special election, advancing to a runoff in two weeks in his bid to win a house seat. he picked up 37% of the vote, well short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. sanford calling his victory humbling. >> the voters care about is not my personal journey, what they care about is what am i going to do if elected to watch out for their pocketbook and their wallet. >> sanford was forced to step down as governor after lying about an extramarital affair. if sanford wins next month's
2:12am
special election, he'll face off against democrat elizabeth colbert-bu colbert-bush. >> people love a comeback story, don't they? >> he says he is going to support his sister. >> all right. one more story to tell you about, folks. the man whose 911 call may have prevented a campus massacre at the university of central florida speaking out saying how it all went down. police say suspect james cumaran pulled the fire arm at the ufc dorm when his roommate came out to investigate the suspect. allegedly pointed an assault rifle right at him. here's what he told anderson cooper. >> i was not going to let him shoot me. i just slammed the door, locked it and i moved away from the door in case he fired at the door. i took some cover in my room so he wouldn't, like, be able to --
2:13am
the pull lets wouldn't be able to penetrate anything and i called 911. >> completely calm for someone who has just gone through that. by the time officers arrived, he was dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound. he had detailed plans for a campus massacre, four homemade bombs, handgun, assault weapon and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. a bizarre and offensive scene in an ohio courtroom as a judge handed t.j. lane three life sentences for last year's shootings at shardon high school. three students were killed, three others were wounded. take a look at this. first he unbuttoned his shirt revealing a word killer on it. when given the chance to address the court, he made an obscene gesture at the victim's families and spoke to them briefly using explicit language. he smirked throughout the entire family and laughed when the prosecutor referred to him as an
2:14am
evil person. >> a brave girl, the pakistani teen shot in the head by the taliban backschool. she was shot five months ago for demanding the girls in her country be educated. the 15-year-old talked about her first day back in class. >> i think it is the happiest moment that i'm going back to my school. and today i will have my books, my bag and i will talk to my friends. i'll talk to my teacher. >> wonderful outlook. she's been getting medical treatment in birmingham, england. >> it's so nice to see her going back to school. exactly what she wants to do. it is first day of spring, believe it or not. but not for big part of the country. next we go live where winter weather is still causing major problems this morning. (announcer) make mornings special, with fancy feast mornings gourmet cat food. mornings are delicious protein rich entrees with gardes
2:15am
fancy feast mornings. the best ingredient is love. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air. hi. i got a call today that you guys found my suitcase. we don't have it. you don't even know my name. [ sniffs ] are you wearing my sweater? [ male announcer ] good thing she hasn't noticed his pants. ♪ gain fireworks boosts the amazing scent for up to 12 weeks.
2:16am
♪ [ sniffs ] ♪ all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think?
2:17am
geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. [ construction sounds ] ♪ [ watch ticking ] [ engine revs ] come in. ♪ got the coffee. that was fast. we're outta here. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8. welcome back to "early start."
2:18am
today is the vernal equinox. this is boston after a late season snowstorm. they had seven inches of snow. and it's not over. more snow is expected to fall in parts of new england and the upper midwest where below freezing temperatures make the first day of spring feel like the dead winter. cnn's chris welch is live in minneapolis this morning. oh, my goodness. happy spring to you. >> reporter: happy spring, yeah. you said it. it feels like the dead of winter. i'm actually standing on a snow bank right now here in downtown minneapolis. i guess it's probably 15 feet tall in certain parts. this is a parking lot here that is basically been used as a dumping ground for a lot of this snow here in minneapolis. they cleared it off the streets. they bring it here. you can see how dirty some of the snow is. that's because it's been here
2:19am
for so long. it's been so cold. none of this stuff has really had a chance do melt. we've seen just about everyone from the midwest to new england dealing with this kind of stuff. and almost everyone, i'm sure, is saying enough. when punxsutawney phil showed up last month, he said prepare for an early spring. well, he mighti be full of you know what. winter's grip appears far from over. from the midwest to new england, late season winter storms bringing as much as 15 inches of snow in some areas leading to another round of school closures and travel nightmares. in ine, this was the scene on the roads earlier this week. worcester, massachusetts, saw one of the snowiest winters on record with totals of more than 100 inches. six of those fell this week. to add insult to injury, all you have to do is think back to
2:20am
exactly one year ago. we were in a heat wave. sneakers replaced snow shoes in boston and this was the scene in manchest manchester, new hampshire. no snow, maybe just a snow cone. it was so warm in fargo, north dakota, this man could ice fish without bundling up. >> 70 degrees up here. down here, you're sitting on an ice cube. >> reporter: this year, that's not the case. so why the contrast? >> you know the old saying, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. sometimes you're under the ridge like we were last year, fargo, north dakota, 80 degrees. and sometimes you're under the ridge here. cold weather across the same area. fargo this morning, 10 below zero. >> reporter: now as much as i hate to think about this, last year, st. patrick's day it was 80 degrees. right now the wind chill is minus 7. tonight we might see 23 degrees.
2:21am
>> chris, i have to tell you, there are hearty folks in minneapolis. >> my hometown. i know you can handle it, chris. >> poppy knows. she's from here. >> i feel your pain. >> thank you. >> i know you do. thank you. it is 18 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to date. christine romans has the top stories. president obama touching down in tel aviv in just over an hour. his middle east visit growing more complicated now by the minute with growing concerns the syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people near the city. the president is scheduled to sit down for talks with israeli prime minister netanyahu that is just before noon eastern time. white house officials say it's a game changer if the assad regime has deployed chemical weapons and the u.s. would act accordingly. the regime claims the rebels launched a chemical attack. rebels deny that charge and they say that assad's opponents don't have chemical weapons.
2:22am
carnival has cancelled ten schedule cruises while repairs are made to the fire damaged ship. it spent several days stranded in the gulf of mexico last month with passengers subjected to overflowing toilets and food shortages. the u.s. is sending a message to north korea, a message in the form of b-52 bombers. a pentagon spokesman confirms that b-52 rz are making flights over south korea as part of military exercise this is month. the bombers are flying out of anderson air force base. north korea calls the flights an unpardonable provication. >> christine, thank you. coming up, bailout rejected in the tiny country of cyprus now facing a banking collapse. it could have an impact across the world. at tyco integrated security, we consider ourselves business optimizers.
2:23am
how? by building custom security solutions that integrate video, access control, fire and intrusion protection. all backed up with world-class monitoring centers, thousands of qualified technicians, and a personal passion to help protect your business. when your business is optimized like that, there's no stopping you. we are tyco integrated security. and we are sharper.
2:24am
hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
2:25am
2:26am
minding your business this morning. for wall street, it is all about europe once again this week. we've been talking about this possible bailout for the tiny but very important country of cyprus. last night a big part of the $13 billion plan to try to get it back in shape was rejected. christine romans is following it very closely. greece and now cyprus? >> it's a little tiny island economy that it really, i mean the dow was whipsawed yesterday in this country because we're watching what happens there. all of these cracks in europe very important to the u.s. stock futures right now are up. dow futures are up 30 points. this tiny country bears watching
2:27am
this morning. the problem is going to sound familiar to you. if cyprus doesn't get a bailout, it could go bankrupt, exit the euro-zone and lead to financial instability at exactly the wrong time for the world economy. the plan to fix the problems there include slapping a fee on bank deposits in the country. we complain about bank fees here. this is one major bank fee. they voted this bank fee down and now a bailout of the country is in jeopardy. here's what they were thinking of. if you get a bank account with $129,000, you would have been taxed $8,700, gone. taken right out of your account just like that. the people in cyprus protested and rushed to withdraw their money. look at the protest lines at the banks. any bailout needs to come with strings attached and the russians, guess what? why are the russians not happy about this tax? because about $30 billion, a third of money in cyprus belongs to russian people. russians park their money there because the taxes are so much
2:28am
lower. this would be a tax on russian money, too. for now the banks remain closed until thursday. the cyprus stock exchange remains closed. the uk is flying one million euros in cash to cyprus for british soldiers who might run short of money. this is a really interesting situation to watch here in cyprus. >> imagine your bank being closed. >> yeah. you have no access for three days. >> it's a reminder of how fragile and interconnected some of the pieces are in the european story. we're watching a recession deepen in europe. >> also when you think you have awe tax haven. >> that's right. >> christine, thank you. new information this morning that just a few restless nights could pack on the pounds immediately. we're going to have the details coming up. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards
2:29am
on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
2:30am
if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com.
2:31am
2:32am
president obama touching down shortly in israel. the historic trip comes with a new urgency. claims of syria is using chemical weapons on its own people grow louder. new information this morning in the plot to kill at a college campus and the roommate who may have prevented a massacre now speaking out. and a stunning upset from national champions to losers in the first round. can you believe it? the can't miss low lights of the kentucky game. welcome back to "early start," everyone. i'm poppy harlow in for john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. developing this morning, president obama touches down in tel aviv in just under an hour. there is a new sense of urgency to his historic middle east
2:33am
visit this morning because there is growing concern that the syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people near the northern city. sarah sidener is live from jerusalem. what was the president's mission in israel and how do the developments in syria potentially change his agenda? >> reporter: well, look, the problem of the chemical weapons in syria has been high on the agenda anyway. and we know it's going to be discussed and was told by a senior israeli official that this issue is definitely on the agenda. it was on the agenda before hearing about potential chemical weapons used in syria recently. and it is something that these two leaders will discuss. now the discussion will be very interesting because one of the things we're told that the obama administration is going to be asked is whether the united states can strike inside of syria to keep syria from sending missiles, particularly surface-to-air missiles over the lebanon border to hezbollah, a group that both israel and the
2:34am
united states and several other countries consider a terrorist organization. that has been a big concern. but, of course, the chemical weapons has been a concern. we were on the border, the israel-syria border. you could hear the sounds of the war and some of that war has been spilling over with shells, tank shells coming over into on the israel side of the golan heights. chemical weapons are very different. if you talk to experts, you can just not strike them from the air, they have to be gotten from the ground. a real issue that's going to be talked about in real terms now that we're hearing that the chemical weapons may have been used in syria. zoraida? >> how is the president planning to try to push the peace process forward? >> reporter: the peace process is one of those things that a lot of people don't have a lot of hope that will is going to be any movement when it comes to the process between the israelis and palestinians. however, it's definitely something that's on the agenda. they have been telling people to have low expectations. perhaps we'll see something. we're hearing that secretary of state kerry is going to be coming back to israel to speak
2:35am
with netanyahu to try to push this peace process plan forward to try to figure out what it is that can kick start this plan. again, remember, it's been three years since any talks of the peace process between the israelis and palestinians has happened. >> all right, sarah, thank you very much. we're learning more this morning about the frightening moments when a former university of central florida student began what could have been a deadly massacre on campus. police say 30-year-old james oliver cumarin had a detailed checklist and plenty of firepower. but a 911 call from his roommate may have saved the lives of many students inside tower one. that is a dorm on the ufc campus. we have more from orlando. >> reporter: the fire alarm is blaring as a man calls 911. his roommate and would-be killer has just pointed a gun right at him. >> my roommate just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun
2:36am
out. >> all right. where are you at? >> i'm in the university of central florida in orlando. the fire alarm went off. i opened the door to see what was going on and he's there with like, some sort of, like, gun. like large assault gun. >> i was definitely scared. but i was -- i was scared but calm. i was just taking cover like in my room behind objects. >> reporter: campus police released this dramatic video of officers making their way inside the gunman's dorm room. this might be disturbing for some to watch. but this is the moment police find the 30-year-old lying dead on the floor. they also found that he apparently was planning a massacre with an arsenal of weapons and explosives. >> i don't think that you acquire 210 round magazines and numerous 22 capacity magazines and that you purchase 1 thou tloundz of ammunition and that you purchase the 45 ammunition, i don't think you just do that
2:37am
as a joke. >> reporter: investigators say they also found a bizarre handwritten time line for the attack. in his words, he would visit this bar called "the mad hatter, get drunk and then go back to the dorment take a shower, shave up and then get equipped. scratching off items as he went down the list. the last item reed good luad god give them hell. >> he lived with him the last seven months. >> i tried to get to know him. we're not friends. he's just very anti-social. he doesn't -- he doesn't want to know me. he doesn't want to make friends. he just keeps to himself. >> reporter: cnn, orlando, florida. the suspect's family issued a brief statement through the sarasota county sheriff's office today and they said that the suspect was a loner and did not have a history of violence. the deadly mortar shell explosion that killed seven marines and injured several others during a military training exercise has prompted the marines to ban the use of
2:38am
the weapons pending an investigation now. officials say the cause of the blast was a 60 millimeter round that detonated inside a mortar tube. the explosion happened at hawthorne army depots in western nevada monday night. senate majority leader harry reid is removing a proposed assault ban rifle -- assault rifle ban from new gun legislation that he will send to the full senate for consideration. reid says keeping the assault weapons ban would have guaranteed a republican filibuster to block the measure. >> i'm not going to try to put something on the floor that won't succeed. i want something that will succeed. i think the worst of all worlds may be to bring something to the floor and it dies there. >> reid says that senator dianne feinstein could introduce her proposed ban on assault weapons as an amendment to new gun legislation in order to at least get a vote on that. and new shocking sex and drug allegations against the man
2:39am
who used to be the voice of elmo. the 24-year-old is suing kevin clash alleging he smoked crystal meth while engaging in sexual activity with stephens. the lawsuit alleges he also gave sheldon poppers as a sexual aid. that generally refers to capsule that's give users a rush when broken and inhaled. his attorney calls the suit meritless and barred by the statute of limitations. interesting development this morning. the fda is giving up on graphic new warnings for cigarette packages. the justice department will not ask the supreme court to review a federal appeals court ruling that had blocked those new warnings. the rule stated that requiring such graphic labels on cigarettes would be a violation of free speech protections. the fda says it will now work to create new warning labels that comply with the 2009 tobacco control act.
2:40am
it's something out of a disaster movie. could an asteroid capable of wiping out a city really hit earth? nasa says it's possible, speshly considering that a immediator exploded over yusha last month. if one threatened new york, pray. 95% of asteroids capable of destroying civilization pose no immediate threat but they also say they know little about so-called city killers. in a house hearing yesterday a nasa official pushed for an astronaut mission to an asteroid by 2025. that is not comforting. >> not at all. faen you're up this early, maybe you didn't get enough sleep last night. new research this morning shows that getting just a few hours of sleep a night in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain. immediate, folks. researchers at the university of colorado studied 16 healthy men and women for two weeks, some were allowed to sleep a luxurious nine hours a night. the rest just five hours like z and i. those who stayed up late and got less sleep not only ate more,
2:41am
they also ate less healthy food consuming 6% more calories than the well rested group. i'm just going to sleep and sleep and sleep. >> all they needed to do is study us here. >> anyone that works in news. >> right. stunning upset in college basketball. defending national champs, the kentucky wild cats lost last night to robert morris by a score of 59-57 in the first round of the nit. kentucky's season ending with a big thud. first they were left out of the ncaa tournament. now this. but congratulations to robert morris. go, colonials. >> all right. for viewers that don't know, zoraida won the bracket last year. she is already ahead of better man. >> i am, indeed ahead of berman. he's not sitting next to me so i can gloat. i'm happy to have you. i would love to gloat. >> ohio going all the way in yours? >> supposedly. >> we'll see. stunning defiant behavior from the teenager who shot and killed three students at an ohio high
2:42am
school. horrible story. horrible actions. a look at what happened as he was sentenced to life in prison. that's next. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. ...amelia... neil and buzz: for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history...
2:43am
we're making it. the in their portfolio, isent of invesunexpected risk.to find bny mellon has the vision and experience to help. we look at the full picture... to uncover risk, find opportunities, and create a plan that's best suited for you. bny mellon.
2:44am
i go to angie's list to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact that i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. join today and find out why over 1 million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities.
2:45am
siemens. answers. welcome back to "early start." life in prison without parole. that is the sentence for an ohio teenager charged with shooting three students last year. it's the defiant behavior of defendant t.j. lane in court that triggered new outrage leaving victims families and his own family in shock. cnn's mary snow has that story for us. >> reporter: moments after entering the courtroom, ohio school shooter t.j. lane took off his shirt, underneath was a t-shirt with the word killer handwritten on it. it was similar to what he was wearing when police arrested him in february of 2012 after he opened fire in the high school cafeteria in northeastern ohio. lane killed three students and injured tli others. he pleaded guilty last month. when given a chance to speak,
2:46am
the 18-year-old lane turned to the victims' families, made an obscene gesture with his finger and used profanity. crying could be heard and people were visibly upset. >> frankly, i wasn't prepared for this. >> the prosecutor called him an evil person. a mother of one of the teens who survived, addressed lane directly. >> you're really lucky there are so many police in this room right now. you can smile all you want. >> the judge sentenced lane to life in prison without parole. he was not eligible for the death penalty because he was a minor at the time of the shootings. after the sentencing, the prosecutor spoke out about what happened in court. >> i'm totally disgusted by that. but it has been our position all along that he knew what he was doing. he planned this out. and what he did today is consistent with what we thought of him all along. >> reporter: lane's sister who was herself in the school cafeteria when her brother opened fire offered sympathy for the victims' families.
2:47am
>> what i keep coming back to is hate will generate more hate but forgiveness and compassion will bring peace and understanding. the brother in the courtroom and that did this was not the brother i knew. >> reporter: mary snow, cnn, new york. >> 44 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date. here is christine romans. that story is really rough. >> it really s wow. to think of that girl sitting in the lunch room when he did that. incredible. a lot to get to. president obama about to land in tel aviv for the start of his middle east trip. the visit is growing more complicated by the hour with mounting evidence that the syrian government is using or concerns that the syrian government is using chemical weapons on its own people. the president sits down with talks with benjamin netanyahu just before noon eastern time. white house officials are investigating reports that the assad regime used chemical weapons. the president long ago warned syria that's a red line that should not be crossed.
2:48am
chief of staff told cnn yesterday that if those weapons have been deployed, game changer and the u.s. will act accordingly. south korea investigating a suspected cyber attack that left computer networks at several banks and media outlets paralyzed this morning. three major broadcasters and two banks reportedly have been affected. its no the clear if the attacks originated in north korea or somewhere else. former south carolina governor mark sanford reviving his political career after a dramatic fall from grace. he finished first in a special election for a seat in the house last night. he now advances to a runoff election in two weeks. if he wins that contest, he'll square off in may against democrat elizabeth colbert-bush. >> new video into cnn this morning. it took rescuers in new york city four hours to free a man who became trapped 75 feet underground while working on the second avenue subway project. the worker got stuck last night in a muddy underground trench
2:49am
after securing him firefighters used hand tools and a back hoe to dig him out. he's in the hospital in stable condition. >> wow. a high school senior making an argument for why, why not? super model kate upton should be his prom date. the video that's gone viral this morning. >> i can't dance, at all. you're christian, 5'10." that video should have won an oscar for best short film. entrs with garden veggies and egg. fancy feast mornings. the best ingredient is love. the delightful discovery. the sweet realization that you have a moment all to yourself. well, almost. splenda® no calorie sweetener. splenda® makes the moment yours™. has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does!
2:50am
wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. no they don't. hey son. have fun tonight. ♪ ♪ back against the wall ♪ ain't nothin to me ♪ ain't nothin to me [ crowd murmurs ] hey! ♪ [ howls ] ♪ hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
2:51am
...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke.
2:52am
welcome back. i have some really great news to tell you. the statue of liberty is set to reopen to the public by july 4th. the new york city landmark has been closed for nearly five months because of infrastructure damage from superstorm sandy. massive flooding caused millions of dollars worth of destruction to the boilers, sewage pumps and trilli electrical systems.
2:53am
i didn't know until i started going over to liberty island and telling the story, but all of the infrastructure is underneath lady liberty. everything got flooded. they were very concerned. there is a lot of money to reopen it. i'm really excited. i can't wait to get back. >> i remember that story. definitely go back as soon as you can. >> i'm going to try. i'm making a valiant attempt for everyone. so let's get a look at your forecast now on this supposed first day of spring. more fe for meteorologists it is. >> good morning. you know, you're right. is the first day of spring. it starts in just about an hour. i know you're very excited about it. and if you have any photos, we're doing something here, send it to us on instagram so we can see how your spring day is turning out. we already have spring showers out there and thunderstorms moving through texas, houston and into baton rouge.
2:54am
expect delays out there. and storms moving through tampa. more are popping up throughout the afternoon. we move up towards the new england area, notice for yourself that really doesn't look like a lot happening. but we're going to still see lake-effect snow today, tomorrow, and that means some of these locations five to nine inches of snowfall. so very windy across parts of the northeast including new england. but overall, we're certainly seeing the snow flurries really coming to an end. now high temperatures for today, in spring you want to know what you're going to be experiencing. not springlike temperatures. temperatures are going to be running 20 degrees below average in some parts, even 30. look at the high temperatures for wednesday. chicago, high of 25 degrees. this time last yaer you were at 85 degrees. the average is 43. for st. louis, you're going to be cool. and the same for new york city. the high temperature should generally be around 60 degrees. and it's not going to end any time soon. this cold spell is going to stick around as we go through thursday as well as into friday.
2:55am
and we're also talking about some snow developing through parts of the midwest. we'll get to that coming up a little later on. back over to you guys. happy spring. >> we don't want to know. thank you, jennifer. >> you don't want to know? all right. maybe a nice warmup is coming. >> we'll check back in with you. thank you. >> jennifer, thanks. girl scout cookies inspiring new trend, you can call it, for the over 21 crowd. thin mint beer anyway? those details next. and watch jake tapper's new show "the lead" at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. great first gig! let's go! party! awwwww... arigato! we are outta here! party...... finding you the perfect place, every step of the way.
2:56am
hotels.com many cereals say they're good for your heart, but did you know there's a cereal that's recommended by doctors? it's post shredded wheat. recommended by nine out of ten doctors to help reduce the risk of heart disease. post shredded wheat is made with only one ingredient: one hundred percent whole grain wheat, with no added sugar or salt. try adding fruit for more health benefits and more taste in your bowl. it's the ideal way to start your heart healthy day. try post shredded wheat. this has been medifacts for post shredded wheat.
2:57am
2:58am
welcome back to "early
2:59am
start," everyone. a look at the top trends online. it may be the unlikeliest of marriages. girl scout cookies and beer. five new cookie beers are flowing at san francisco's bar. there is peppermint inspired by thin minutes. short bread gold nail for tree foils. and there is a belgian double with coconut. there are no actual cookies in the beer, folks. each beer is served with the cookie that inspired it. i think hangover. >> beer and cookies. i don't like the combination. it's not the first time we've seen this. california high school senior makes compelling arguments why kate upton should be his prom date. his video has gone viral and even better, it has her attention. >> you are the ying to my yang. i'm jewish, 5'9" on a really good day and i can't dance, at
3:00am
all. you're christian, 5'10" and that video should have won oscar for best short film. you could say this is destiny. >> well kate upton responded to jake tweeting, you can call me katie if you want. how can i turn down that video? i will check my schedule! so, folks, stay tuned. >> i hope she goes. >> wouldn't that be great? >> fantastic. check out other top cnn trends, head to cnn.com/trends. here's a question. what do the new pope, lindsay lohan and tiger woods have in common? cue the late night laughs. >> how about this weather? isn't it crazy? 46 and cloudy. i mean, like lindsay lohan. the pope is urging compassion for those less fortunate. of course, the poor, passion for them. the oppressed, urging compassion
3:01am
for the oppressed and carnival cruise passengers. compassion for them because -- >> today 200,000 people showed up to st. peter's square for pope francis' first mass. 200,000 people. it was crazy. instead of handing out communion, they handed out a wafer cannon. here's some celebrity news. tiger woods and professional skier lindsey vaughn confirmed facebook that they are dating. things are moving quickly. just today he took her home to meet his other girlfriends. isn't that sweet? that's sweet. >> "early start" continues right now. president obama minutes from touching down in tel aviv for the start of a historic middle east trip. it's his first visit to israel since taking office.
3:02am
and the president's visit to the middle east growing more urgent by the hour. now that it appears the syrian government may be using chemical weapons against its own people. career revived. new this morning, mark sanford, the closer to winning a seat in the house of representatives. and developing this morning, a suspected cyber attack crippling networks in south korea. is north korea behind it? good morning and welcome to "early start," everyone, i'm poppy harlow in for john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it is wednesday, march 20th. it is the first day of spring. happy spring to you. let's get started here. in less than 30 minutes, president obama is scheduled to touch down in tel aviv to begin a middle east visit. that's taking on new urgency this morning. there is mounting concern the syrian government has crossed the president's so-called red line by using chemical weapons on its own people near the city of aleppo. listen to mike rogers. he is chairman of the house intelligence committee. he was in the situation room last night with wolf blitzer.
3:03am
>> i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used. we need that final verification. we need to step up in the world community to prevent a humanitarian disaster. >> we're covering this developing story with cnn's global resources. sara sidner is live in jerusalem, ivan watson in amman, jordan. sara, do these development change the president's agenda? we knew discussions of syria were on the agenda but perhaps this has moved it up? >> certainly you're hearing from the white house that this could be a game changer if chemical weapons were, indeed, found to be used in syria. the syrian regime has been saying that it was the rebels who used them, but the united states doesn't buy that. nor does israel. so this is certainly something that is going to be talked about. we did hear from a senior israeli official who told me, look, we will be in discussions with the u.s. as to whether it needs to take some action, instead of, for example, israel
3:04am
taking action. you know that on january 30th the israelis, according to a u.s. official, ended up striking inside syria to keep syria from sending missiles, surface-to-air missiles, very dangerous weapons, over to hezbollah in lebanon. a group that both the u.s., and israel, consider a terrorist organization. now we're talking chemical weapons. that has always been on the agenda, the concern, because dealing with chemical weapons is a very, very difficult thing to do. you can't just hit them from the air. has to be something that has to go on the ground, to take out or at least try to secure. so certainly this could ratchet up talks about syria. but it already on the agenda and something that both israel and the united states have been very concerned about, zoraida. >> something else on the agenda, of course, is the peace process. how is the president planning to push that forward? >> it's certainly a concern of the president's, and also secretary of state john kerry. we are hearing now that the secretary of state will be coming back here on saturday to speak privately with prime
3:05am
minister netanyahu about the peace process, trying to figure out what it is that can be done to get the peace process started again between the israelis and the palestinians. you know it's been stalled for many years now. a lot of concern that it is going to die. but we are going to see the president coming here first talking to the prime minister, and then tomorrow he'll be headed over to the west bank to speak with president mahmoud abbas, who is going to be talking, of course, about the peace process. a lot of concern that nothing will come out of it. zoraida? >> all right, sara sidner, live in jerusalem for us. >> also developing in the region this morning a lot of finger pointing in syria. the assad regime and rebel forces both accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media yesterday claiming that opposition forces launched a chemical attack in aleppo province, killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100. rebels deny that charge and actually accuse the regime of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. cnn international correspondent
3:06am
ivan watson is in amman, jordan, following all of this. a lot of questions still but tell us what we know at this point. >> good morning, poppy. what we have, the first news came out from the syrian government itself, accusing the rebels of firing some kind of chemical weapons against this town to the west of syria's largest city, aleppo. and claiming that at least 25 people were killed, dozens wounded, and syrian state tv aired some interviews with some of the survivors, saying that they smelled chlorine, and accusing the rebels directly of using chemical weapons. the rebels were very quick to respond, denying these charges, and accusing the regime itself of firing some kind of chemical weapons in this area against its own troops. now some chemical weapons experts have gone already on the record saying hey, there is very little conclusive evidence thus far to prove that either side used any chemical weapons in this attack.
3:07am
we don't really know what happened on the ground in this area, so my contacts in aleppo say they can't get to this area because it's under regime control. poppy? >> and i know, ivan, you spent a lot of time in syria and will be following this closely. thank you very much, reporting for us from amman, jordan. the white house is monitoring the situation in syria very closely and chief of staff says the president takes the report very seriously. >> we are going to be very clear to the syrian regime as we have been throughout and to all the syrian supporters throughout the world, and then obviously to our partners in the region, that if this is substantiated, obviously it does suggest, as the president just said, that this is a game changer, and we'll act accordingly. >> chris lawrence is live at the pentagon for us. and chris, senator mccain says that this is the red line that has been crossed. will the u.s. take military action? >> well, zoraida, we know that the u.s. military has been
3:08am
updating its options as the situation changes on the ground. so that if and when president obama asks for that military option, they have an updated an ready. u.s. officials tell us that the u.s. has plenty of firepower in that region, including land bases, as well as jet fighters on board some of those aircraft carriers in the area. they also have ships capable of firing tom hawk missiles, which are very precision guided and can hit specific targets. the danger, though, is that when you're hitting chemical targets you may disburse some of that chemical agent into the civilian population. perhaps, a more specific plan, and one that they're considering, is trying to bomb runways so that some of the planes carrying these weapons wouldn't be able to take off. or disrupting communication. cutting the communication line. it's something that they did in libya so that the command to fire could not be transmitted.
3:09am
the only thing is, in libya, there was a tighter command and control. in syria, u.s. officials tell us, they may not be able to know exactly if the commanders on the ground would act on their own, without assad's okay. zoraida? >> very difficult situation. chris lawrence, reporting from the pentagon. thank you for that. >> yes. developing story, a suspected cyber attack crippling computer networks in south korea this morning. and south korean officials say they don't know if north korea is involved or not. hackers, leaving computer systems at three major media outlets and at least one major bank just paralyzed. the south korean government raising its information operations condition to level three this morning. level one is the highest threat level. more on this story throughout the morning here on cnn as we get more information. it looks like mark san ford has revised his police cal career. the former south carolina governor finishing first last night, this is a special election, advancing to a runoff elections two weeks in his
3:10am
attempt to win a house seat. sanford had to step down as governor after lying about an extramarital affair in 2009. he registered 37% of the vote last night. well short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. still, sanford says it was a humbling win. >> what the voters ultimately care about is not my personal journey, what they care about is what am i going to do, if elected, to watch out for their pocketbook or their wallet. >> so if sanford wins a runoff elections in two weeks, he'll face democrat elizabeth colbert busch in may. she is the sister of tv comedian stephen colbert. >> a gas explosion in grand junction, colorado, has left at least three people injured and forced evacuations. the mesa county sheriff's office says a natural gas leak caused the house to explode on tuesday afternoon. the house next door then also caught fire and that explosion forced the evacuation of two nearby schools and all the homes
3:11am
within a 10-block radius. a 911 call may have prevented a massacre at the university of central florida. and now the man who made that call is speaking out. police say suspect james oliver seevakumaran told -- when his roommate came out to investigate the suspect allegedly pointed an assault rifle right at him. here's what he had to say to cnn's anderson cooper. >> i was not going to let him shoot me. i just slammed the door, locked it, and i moved away from the door in case he fired at the door. i took some cover in my room so he wouldn't like be able to -- bullets wouldn't be able to penetrate anything and i called 911. >> i can't imagine those moments. by the time officers arrived seevakumaran was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. an investigators say he had detailed plans for a campus massacre. four homemade bombs, a handgun,
3:12am
an assault weapon, and about 1,000 rounds of ammunition. >> an awful story. did you happen to catch kansas city mayor sly james state of the city address? you're watching it on saturday night? he probably never expected it to go viral. but again, he didn't expect this to happen, either. >> man -- talking about, exactly what [ bleep ] [ bleep ] become. >> well, that was unfortunate. >> what a way to handle it. >> wow. >> mayor james is a former marine and that might explain why he did not even flinch when the man rushed up there to the podium. that man is a former candidate for the missouri house. he, of course, has been taken into custody. >> loved his response. that was unfortunate. >> cool, calm and collected. >> it may be the first day of spring but much of the country
3:13am
is still buried in snow. we are live in the midwest, where the mess is still causing some major problems this morning. [ female announcer ] born from the sweet monk fruit,
3:14am
something this delicious could only come from nature. discover nectresse™. the 100%-natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. nectresse™. sweetness naturally. nectresse™. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
3:15am
welcome back.
3:16am
just in, you're looking at live pictures in tel aviv where president obama has just touched down. he is scheduled to visit jerusalem. he is also scheduled to visit bethlehem. as you know, there is growing concern about chemical weapons being used in syria that will also be high on the president's agenda today. as he meets netanyahu. we're going to continue to follow all of these developments for you. again, the president has just arrived in tell aviv, just touched down. we -- i don't think he's -- i don't think he's deboarded the plane just yet. i believe the plane is taxiing right now. but we do know that of high concern right now is the situation that is happening in syria. and the potential use of chemical weapons there in the city of aleppo. we do understand that that was on the president's agenda to discuss. but now growing concern whether or not that red line has been crossed and the discussions that will happen with netanyahu. we're going to continue to follow these developments for you. in the meantime, let's head over
3:17am
to poppy. >> it's spring, right? feels like it outside, folks. today is officially the first day of spring. but for much of the country it's sure doesn't look or feel like it. this is what new hampshire is dealing with after a late-season snowstorm. and it's not over. more snow also expected in parts of new england in the upper midwest, along with below freezing temperatures. our chris welsh is live in minneapolis for us this morning. chris, it's cold, and there's a whole lot of snow behind you. >> it is cold. yeah, you could tell me it's spring all you want but it doesn't feel like it. i know you know what these temperatures feel like being from part of this country. this is in downtown minneapolis, one of 9 piles of snow they basically cleared a lot of the streets downtown and dump it in one of these parking lots. it's basically become a 15-foot pile of dirty snow. it's dirty because it's been here for a long time. it's been so cold it hasn't even had a chance to melt. it's not just here in the midwest, folks from here all the way to new england dealing with this, and they're saying, enough
3:18am
already. when punxsutawney phil showed up last month, he told us to prep for an early spring. well, punxsutawney phil might be full of you know what. today is the official first day of spring but winter's grip appears far from over. from the midwest to new england. late-season winter storms bringing as much as 15 inches of snow in some areas, leading to another round of school closures and travel nightmares. in maine, this was the scene on the roads earlier this week. worcester, massachusetts, saw one of its snowiest winters on record, with totals of more than 100 inches. six of those fell this week. to add insult to injury, all you have to do is think back to exactly one year ago. we were in a heat wave. sneakers replaced snowshoes in boston, and this was the scene in manchester, new hampshire. no snow, maybe just a snow cone.
3:19am
it was so warm in fargo, north dakota, this man could ice fish without bundling up. >> 70 degrees up here. and down here it's -- you're sitting on an ice cube. >> reporter: this year that's not the case. so why the contrast? cnn meteorologist chad myers. >> you know the old saying, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. here sometimes you're under the ridge like we were last year. fargo, north dakota, 80 degrees on this date. sometimes you're under the ridge, cold weather all across the same area. fargo this morning, 10 below zero. >> now, poppy, last year st. patrick's day it was 80 degrees. 8-0. right now, it is a windchill of minus 7. >> chris, say hi to my hometown. i don't miss it today, that's for sure. great reporting. >> i will. >> thank you, chris. >> i'm sure you don't. >> i want to know where his hat is. 17 minutes past the hour. christine romans here with a look at top stories. >> let's get right to the
3:20am
breaking news. we just told you, president obama has arrived in tel aviv. you are looking at a live picture of the airport where his plane just touched down a few moments ago. what you can see there, a lot of soldiers, a red carpet. you can hear some announcements over the p.a. pomp and circumstance. there's the plane. this is the president's first trip to israel since taking office. today the president will sit down for talks with israeli prime minister netanyahu. just before noon eastern time. all of this, his arrival, as there's mounting concern that the syrian government is using chemical weapons on its own people near the city of aleppo. again, those are unsubstantiated concerns at this point, but something that members of congress and folks in washington are very, very closely looking at. and looking to see if there's any verification very soon. white house officials say, of course, it's a game changer if the assad regime has deployed chemical weapons and the u.s. would act accordingly. the regime claims rebels have launched a chemical attack.
3:21am
rebels deny that charge, and u.s. officials say assad's opponents do not have chemical weapons. evidence uncovered by "the washington post" suggests pope francis did not take enough quick and decisive action to protect children from predator priests when he was archbishop of buenos aires. the human rights group says he didn't meet with or apologize to abuse victims. but the group did say the new pontiff's resolve to protect children has strengthened as new cases of molestation have surfaced and that he eventually instructed bush ops to immediately report all of these allegations to police. there is no evidence that he played a direct role in covering up abuse cases. the carnival cruise ship "triumph" won't be sailing any time soon. carnival has canceled ten scheduled cruises while repairs are made to the fire damaged ship. the triumph spent several days stranded in the gulf of mexico last month, passengers subjected to overflowing toilets and food shortages. the ship is expected to return to service in early june.
3:22am
lindsay lohan can now had this picture to her collection of mug shots. yes, she has a collection of mug shots. the troubled actress turned herself in to police on california tuesday as a formality for her sentence. she's 26 years old. she has to spend 90 days in a lock-in rehab facility. don't drive. was the suggestion by a los angeles superior judge to lohan after he handed down the sentence. a spokesman for the santa monica police department said she was booked, then released. and i haven't -- i don't have a final count but i'm told 22 times she has appeared in court? 22 times. she's 26 years old. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> "early start" back after this quick break as we monitor president obama's historic arrival. [ lane ] are you growing old waiting for your wrinkle cream to work? neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair
3:23am
has the fastest retinol formula. to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles in just one week. neutrogena®. to♪♪ savor and explore, lof d and wthe great indoors ♪ week. ♪ friskies indoor delights. ♪ feed the senses. i can't believe your mom let you take her car out.ck! this is awesome! whoooo!
3:24am
you're crazy. go faster! go faster! go faster! go faster! no! stop...stop... (mom) i raised my son to be careful... hi, sweetie. hi, mom. (mom) but just to be safe... i got a subaru. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru.
3:25am
...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke.
3:26am
welcome back. you're looking live in tel aviv where president obama's plane just touched down moments ago. this is his first trip to israel as president of the united states. he will visit jerusalem. he will also visit bethlehem and meet with israeli president benjamin netanyahu today, as well. there's a lot of pomp and circumstance happening today. if we pull out on these pictures you'll see that there's a red
3:27am
carpet that is there to greet him. there are a lot of soldiers on hand waiting to greet him, as well. >> i think in his first term, his team had basically said he won't go there until there is a peace plan he is ready to present. many this morning are calling this a listening tour, saying this is about managing middle east problems, not about solving them, about having these discussions, and some are so frustrated with the fact that he'll be spending more time in israel than he will in palestinian territories. >> and around israel there are actually signs or banners with the president's picture on it, and also the israeli flag. but there's a lot of opposition, as well, that's going to face him today. in the town of bethlehem protesters burned a banner bearing obama's image. he is going to face some opposition while he's there, as well. >> we wonder, obviously on air force one overnight. we assume they've had discussions about reports from syria and potential use of chemical weapons, either rebel forces or by the assad regime.
3:28am
whether the president will make a statement about that, will be very significant. >> we know it was on his agenda. it was part of the agenda for his trip. but assuming now that it will take more importance and urgency, and it will move up on his agenda as he meets with the leaders there. >> absolutely. absolutely. the president, about to, we believe -- >> disembark. >> we're not on a cruise ship, right? >> but again, so significant, because this is the president's first trip to israel as president. you know, it was interesting, because there was a lot of focus on netanyahu during the election. and backing, you know, who would be backing -- he kept saying i'm not getting involved in the politics of the united states. but there he is approaching to meet the president as he comes off of air force one. >> and the president has quite an agenda today. he's also scheduled to give a speech to some of the college students, as well.
3:29am
that's about a 40-minute speech that's scheduled for him, as well, on his agenda. he'll be visiting theodore herzel's grave. he'll be viewing dead sea scrolls. >> that's causing a lot of controversy, as well. there was a lot of criticism that he had put those two items on his agenda because that's really a support of israel and a lot of folks are wondering whether that was a good idea or not. but those are on his agenda. >> we're watching here live pictures from tel aviv. air force one has landed. this is the president's first visit as president of the united states to israel. he should be deboarding the plane any moment now. we saw the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, there to greet him. >> and interesting, also, the president will wrap up this three-day middle east trip in jordan, where he will meet with king abdullah, and that is of even more significance now when you talk about syrians fleeing constantly over the border into jordan, and any discussions they'll have with king abdullah
3:30am
there in jordan. but first and foremost, a significant meeting in israel with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. all comp and circumstance pulled out for this very important arrival and meeting. >> there are a lot of soldiers standing by there. there's a choir that is expected to welcome the president, as well. there in israel for the first time as president, visiting. and you can hear in the background, i'm not quite sure what is happening there, but you can hear some announcements in the background, as well, from the military. as they welcome the president of the united states to tel aviv. there is a red carpet. lots of soldiers present. we saw netanyahu walk up the carpet there in order to greet the president. we are expecting him to deplane any moment now. and for this historic visit to begin. >> very historic visit at a very important time with the focus on syria, as you said, he will have this meeting and then he's also going to attend a few lighter
3:31am
affairs. a book signing. he'll hear from a children's choir at shimon peres' residence. there will be a tree planting. there will be a press statement later this afternoon, and a press conference with prime minister netanyahu and also president obama. >> and he is also accompanied by his secretary of state john kerry, as well. we would like to bring in sara sidner, live in jerusalem right now. can you talk a little bit more about the president's mission? >> we should mention that once he gets off the plane one of the first things he's going to see is the iron dome missile defense system, something that the united states helped fund, the united states giving israel somewhere around $3 billion per year for its security. they are actually bringing one of the iron dome batteries to the airport so that he can see it for time purposes. this is the battery that has -- >> sara i don't know if you can see this -- sara -- if i could
3:32am
interrupt you for a minute we are looking at president obama, as he is coming off air force one there, to meet prime minister benjamin netanyahu. sorry to interrupt you. i don't think you have the pictures. i don't think you're watching them, as well. a big smile, as he is there to greet benjamin netanyahu, or benjamin netanyahu is there to greet president obama. >> how are you? good to see you. >> sara, continue if you could -- >> we can listen in a little bit. >> good to see you. >> good seeing you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for coming. >> wonderful to be here. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> great to see up. >> glad to have you here. >> it's great to be here. thank you so much. >> how are you? so nice to see you. thank you so much. how are you, sir? >> very nice to see you, sir. very nice to meet you, sir. nice to meet you. thank you so much. where would you like me? right here? okay.
3:33am
>> i have never really heard conversations like this happening. we only see the president, and it's usually we see the mouth moving but we never hear what's coming out. this is interesting to eavesdrop on this conversation. >> a warm welcome. hugs exchanged. saying we're very happy to have you here. the president saying very glad to be here, as well. all smiles. really a nice inside look at the greeting of the president, president and prime minister benjamin netanyahu of such a significant historic visit for our president. and to be able to hear that warm welcome. >> sara, we're going to let you jump back in here again. >> oh, yes, i can hear you now. i could also hear the greetings there. there have been other meetings where things weren't so chummy. so you're seeing again this relationship, there has been a
3:34am
lot of talk about the fact these two men have had a very cool relationship, to say the least. look, there are some really serious issues that these two a president abbas over in the palestinian territories need to talk about. one for israel is security. that is their main concern. they want to talk about iran and the potential of it obtaining nuclear weapons. the united states and israel differ on when they think iran could obtain a nuclear weapon. the united states has been wanting iran to give it some time, more time to try and deal with this diplomatically. israel saying, look, we've given them plenty of time, there needs to be more force used against iran in case of this building of this nuclear weapon which netanyahu has said many times he believes is going to happen this spring or summer. the president saying, look, we think that if they do, indeed, decide to build nuclear weapons that won't happen for a year. we'll see what happens with that discussion. that's on the agenda, also as you mention, syria and chemical weapons. new reports from the syrian regime that rebels were using
3:35am
chemical weapons. the u.s. not buying it. they believe it may have been the regime that used chemical weapons. whoever it is, this could be a game changer, and that is on the agenda, as well. a senior israeli official telling me that there will be discussions with the president between him and mr. netanyahu as to whether the u.s. should take action, perhaps to keep it from sending missiles, for example, over to neb lon, to hezbollah, a group both say is a terrorist organization but when it comes to k4echemical weapons, very difficult to deal with. we'll have to see what happens with those discussions, that's certainly an important discussion being had. and then lastly, the two-state solution, the peace process between the israelis and palestinians. that is certainly on the agenda. there is not a lot of hope that there's going to be actual paperwork, an actual agreement or an actual start to the peace process. it has been failed for about three years, a lot of people say it's dying. but the president clearly wants to push the peace process to try to get something done.
3:36am
we'll have to find out to see if anything happens when it cops to that. zoraida, poppy? >> sara sidder in, thank you very much. zoraida i think it's so interesting, it was just a few months ago at the u.n. general assembly where we can never forget those images of prime minister netanyahu holding up a photograph of the bomb, and drawing that red line. also all of the discussion around him not being able to get that meeting with the president while he was in the united states now that he's got a warm welcome. let's let our viewers listen in a little bit more if we can to this. ♪
3:37am
>> these are live pictures of a historic moment, president obama making his first visit to israel as president of the united states there. he is with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. a historic trip. it's also a very important trip as there are many items on the agenda, including the crisis in syria that's happening, and, you know, the chemical weapons, the suggestion of chemical weapons being used against the people in aleppo. it's apacked agenda for the president. our question was whether or not he would be addressing the situation in syria. >> it's been unclear whether or not the president was going to make official remarks here, right as he touched down or not. we know that he will view the iron dome, that is the aggressive defense system that israel has use even just in its most recent conflict. he will go view that. he will be monitoring this, and of course, we'll bring you any remarks from the president or prime minister netanyahu. we will bring those to you live.
3:38am
it is 35 minutes past the hour. we have some other top stories that we'd like to tell you about. more details coming to lightabout what could have been the start of a massacre on the university of central florida campus. police say 30-year-old james oliver seevakumaran had a detailed checklist and plenty of firepower, as well. but a 911 call from his roommate may have saved the lives of many students. inside tower one. it's a dorm on the ucf campus. cnn's ed lavandera has more from orlando. >> reporter: the fire alarm is blaring arobo babahkani calls 911. his roommate and potential seevn has just pointed a gun right at him. >> my roommate just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun out. >> where are you at? >> in the university of central florida orlando. the fire alarm went off, i opened the door tohat was he's
3:39am
large assault gun. >> i was definely scared. but i was scared but calm. ias just taking cover, like in my room binjects. >> campus police released this dramatic helmet camera video of officers making their way inside the gunman's dorm room. this might be disturbing for some to watch but this is the moment police find the 30-year-old lying dead on the floor. they also found that he apparently was planning a massacre, with an arsenal of weapons and explosives. >> i don't think that you acquire two 110-round magazines and numerous .22 capacity magazines, and that you purchase 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and that you purchase 45 ammunition. i don't think you just do that as a joke. >> reporter: investigators say they also found a bizarre handwritten timeline for the attack. in seevakumaran's words he would visit this bar called the mad
3:40am
hatter, get drunk, then go back to his dorm, take a shower, shave up, and then get equipped. scratching off items as he went down the list. the last item read, good luck and give them hell. the would-be killer's roommate had lived with him for the last seven months. >> i tried to get to know him and stuff but, you know, we're not friends. he's just very anti-social. he doesn't -- he doesn't want to know me. he doesn't want to make friends. just keeps to himself. >> reporter: ed lavandera, cnn, orlando, florida. >> the family of the suspect has issued a brief statement to the county sheriff's office. they say the suspect was a loner and does not have a history of violence. new developments this morning. the pentagon has moved to ban the use of the type of weapon used in the fatal shell explosion during a military training exercise. it happened at hawthorne army depot in western nevada. seven marines were killed, several others very injured. officials say the cause of the blast was a 60 millimeter round
3:41am
that detonated inside >> and still no leads in the search for new orleans teacher terrilynn monette. she's moisting for more than two weeks now. police divers as you see there, have brought in advanced sonar equipment in help in the search for the 26-year-old teacher. she was last seen drinking in this bar, where she was celebrating her teacher of the year nomination. and senate majority leader harry reid is pulling a proposed ban on assault weapons from new gun legislation that he will go to the full senate with for consideration. now, reid says that keeping that assault weapons ban in place in this legislation would have guaranteed a republican filibuster to the measure. >> i'm not going to try to put something on the floor that won't -- i think the worst of all worlds would be to bring something to the floor and it dies there. >> reid says senator dianne feinstein that was her proposal
3:42am
that assault weapons ban could still get a vote on still get a vote it would have to be introduced as an amendment to the new gun legislation. >> malala yousafzai, the pakistani girl shot in the head by the taliban, look at her. she is headed back to school. the 15-year-old started class in england this week. and she's really excited about it. here's what she had to say. >> i think it's just the happiest moment that i'm going back to my school. and today, i hold my books, my bag, and i will learn and talk to my friends, and talk to my teacher. >> malala has been getting medical treatment in birmingham, england. we are so happy for her. >> what a wonderful, wonderful, inspiring young woman. >> yes, she is. a high school senior making an argument for why supermodel kate upton should be his prom date. poppy is all for this. >> why not? >> the video has gone viral this morning.
3:43am
>> i can't dance. at all. you're christian. 5'10". and video won an oscar for best short film. none of us would want to be told we can't marry the person we love. as americans, we believe in freedom. that's what i fought for as a marine, and that's what we believe in as republicans. freedom means freedom for everyone. i didn't use to understand the importance of same-sex marriage, but after learning my brother was gay i wanted the same rights for him. he was the best man at my wedding and i want to be the best man at his. it's only fair that calvin should have the freedom to marry the person he loves, too. it's time for marriage.
3:44am
3:45am
3:46am
welcome back to "early start," john berman is in for soledad o'brien this morning. a lot of news. >> a lot of news going on right now as we speak. president obama has arrived in israel. meeting with benjamin netanyahu the prime minister there. they have a lot to talk about. nothing probably more important at this point than what is going on in syria, with the discussions about the possibility that chemical weapons are now being used there, does that violate the red line that president obama has talked so much about. then, there's an election. there was an election here in the u.s., believe it or not.
3:47am
south carolina last night, there he is, mark sanford is leading right now among republicans in a primary there for a house seat. you remember mark sanford. he was the governor who, who ran off to the appalachian trail with his argentinean mistress. left his wife. but redemption may finally be his. is he on the way to winning back a political office? and then finally, this has been my favorite story for days now. i'm a huge basketball fan. adrian gantly was one of the best players of the 1980s. this guy scored a ton of points. we're talking to him live. there's now he's a crossing guard in maryland. you know, he says he doesn't need the money. he just wants to work. >> he worked out all day and one of his friends said to him, you know, being a crossing guard is a great, great job. you get health care benefits. >> and one hour a day. >> he was a basketball player so he has long arms. >> think how cool for those kids. >> he's well suited for the job.
3:48am
>> we're looking forward to that. thank you. >> all right. 45 minutes past the hour. finally i guess it's spring today but it certainly doesn't feel like it. let's check in with jennifer delgado. what's going on, girl? >> zoraida, everything is going on. we have the threat for snow. we have cold temperatures. and we have spring showers out there. now we want to know what spring looks like for you today. if you have the photos, submit on instagram and #springcnn. it kicks off in about 20 minutes. here are the spring showers and thunderstorms we're talking about moving through parts of texas, houston getting pounded with some lightning there. same for baton rouge. and storms developing right off the coast of florida. we're going to see more of those moving into tampa as we go through the morning. we expect the rain to kick around in both those areas through the evening hours. now new england, a lot quieter than it was yesterday. still going to be looking at some snow flurries and a lot coming down from the lake effects for areas right along lake erie, as well as lake ontario. you can see about 5 to 9 inches
3:49am
of snowfall. and the same for parts of the midwest. starting thursday morning, through friday, and the southern parts of missouri, into arkansas, yeah it's going to be snowy there. we're talking 9 inches potentially. of course this is going to lead to some travel problems. yes it's spring. but it doesn't feel like it. we have a freed warning in place for alabama, all the way up towards north carolina. that is until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. so if you go out and plant some of those vegetables over the weekend because it was warm, hopefully you kept them in a pot. here's a look at some of your high temperatures today. we are talking for chicago, your high temperature in comparison to last year, 60 degrees cooler than where it should be. now for areas like milwaukee, today only high of 21 degrees, last year, 83. and then st. louis, cold there, as well. i want to leave you with some video coming out of washington, d.c. this is actually some of the cherry blossoms. they're starting to bloom. but guess what, guys? they're going to be late. looks like the ideal time will
3:50am
come late march as well as into april. >> something to look forward to. >> and welcome the allergies. >> thank you very much, jennifer. up next the wildcats' worst nightmare. defending champion kentucky left out of the ncaa tourney. and now a stunner in the first round of the n.i.t. can you believe it? [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away
3:51am
as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. people around you...they say, you're much bigger than this. and you are. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
3:52am
3:53am
51 minutes past the hour. let the madness begin. the ncaa tournament kicked off last night with the first two games and already i'm ahead of john berman in the cnn bracket. that's right, berman. i'm ahead of you. he got both games wrong.
3:54am
andy joins us with this morning's bleacher report. good morning to you. >> good morning, guys. much of the talk surrounding these first two games last night was liberty university, who was just the second team ever to make the tournament with 20 losses. so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that they lost last night. they trailed in the game by seven minutes. about four minutes to go, and they were almost able to make the comeback. but, their last-second attempt would be no good. north carolina a&t holds on for their first ever tournament play. they will play louisville in the second round. the other game featured st. mary's versus middleton. this was the matthew show. he led st. mary's to a 13-point win. they'll take on memphis in round two. the games will wrap up tonight on trutv. what a difference a year makes. last season the kentucky wildcats were the number one overall seed in the ncaa
3:55am
tournament. and they went on to win it all. this season, they failed to make the big dance, settling for the n.i.t., and last night they were bounced in the first round by robert morris. not exactly the kind of march kentucky fans had in mind. well the power of the plantain must be real. dominican republic team calling the fruit their good luck charm throughout the world baseball classic. and it's hard to argue against it. the dominicans dominated the field in the tournament going a perfect 8-0 capped off by last night's 3-0 win over puerto rico in the championship game. he doesn't plan on eating his lucky plantain now that they've won. instead it will be his black diamond because, hey, it's starting to change color. fruit will do that after a couple of weeks. well if you had over to bleacherreport.com you can check out this story in the lineup section. spring training can become a bit of a drag after about a month of meaningless games. the phillies have hooters girls down the foul line.
3:56am
you can probably guess how this one went. this poor girl made two errors in the same inning and the phillies fans they let her hear about it. and, guys, philly fans have been known to boo santa claus. there's no way these hooters girls were going to get off the hook. >> the players are happy. >> all right on that note, andy shoels, thank you very much. ever think of asking a supermodel to the prom? what could go wrong with that? the high school kid with a lot of guts. that's next. [ male announcer ] if you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air.
3:57am
at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. ♪ let's face it. everyone has their own way of doing things. at university of phoenix we know learning is no different. so we offer personalized tools and support, that let our students tackle the challenge of going back to school, like they do anything else... their way.
3:58am
[ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums
3:59am
turning online this morning, it is the tri